Footprints Sensory Gross Motor Activity
Gross Motor and Sensory Fun!
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -- Lao Tzu
Looking for a fun and easy activity to get the kids moving? Do you have a sensory seeking child? Want a fun gross motor activity that you can do inside? Give this Footprints Sensory Gross Motor Activity a try! It's packed with skills and the kids love creating their own sensory path.
An important skill in child development is motor planning. Our Footprints Sensory Gross Motor Activity builds motor planning, directionality and tactile discrimination skills. This activity is fun for all kids but it is a really great game for children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Kids with poor body awareness due to sensory issues often have motor planning problems as well. Motor planning is a form of organization. So many kids with SPD have organizational issues, not just organizing body movements with motor planning but also organizing thoughts and ideas, language, time, and possessions. Working on motor planning with gross motor activities can lead to better organizational skills in other areas.
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How to Make Sensory Footsteps
Target Skills for this Sensory Gross Motor Activity:
- Motor Planning
- Body Awareness
- Left/Right directionality
- Sensory Integration
- Fine Motor Cutting Skills
- Light weight Cardboard or Assorted Colors Posterboard
- You can use anything: Rice, Beans, Sand, Puffy Paints, Fabrics, Stickers, Paper, Pom poms or Cotton Balls pulled so they are thin.
The kids that we did this with liked stickers and beans.
How to Make Sensory Footsteps
Instructions for Making Sensory Gross Motor Footsteps:
- Trace the child's foot. Make the outline bigger than the foot; but you may want to skip drawing on the child's foot.
- Cut out paper footprints; We just used white but you can cut out a variety of colors. It would be fun to make one set of footprints green for “go” and another set red for “stop”.
- Glue on rice, beans, sand, cotton balls or fabrics. Or you can use the puff paint.
- Set the footprints in a path. For children that can easily walk a path make the path more difficult: have them lead through small spaces, up and down objects, close together and farther apart, etc.
- You could make one path from one material such as the rice, make another path using a different material. Have the differently textured paths lead in different directions.
Extending the activity:
- Make different colored footprints for different actions. For example: green would mean “go”, red might mean “turn around”, blue would mean “hop”, pink could mean take small steps and yellow could mean take big steps.
- Make different colors for left and right feet.
- Blindfold the children and have them follow the right path by feeling the different textures.
- Or to make the game interactive with peers, blindfold one child and have the other children direct the blindfolded child through the footprint course.
- Use a drum or tambourine to set a beat. Have the children walk the footprints path to the beat.
- Make an obstacle course with the footsteps leading through the course.
- Work on jumping skills by having the children jump from feet to feet.
Do you have any other ideas?
More Sensory Motor Activities for You to Try
- 6 Gross Motor Activities from Little Bins for Little Hands
- Why are gross motor skills important?
- Gross Motor Activities from The OT Mom
- The Best 35 Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers from Hands on as We Grow
- 8 Gross Motor Skills Activities for Kids from Understood.org
- Indoor gross motor activities from The Measured Mom